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Finding the Buddha
by Eddie Tafoya
A dark story of genius, friendship and stand-up comedy. A mysterious man with a Midas
touch delights the world but still seeks release from his own personal nightmare.
Mark Wladika can do just about anything. As a high school sophomore, he demonstrates an
uncanny grasp of quantum physics. As a young Marine, he is a master of hand-to-hand combat,
capable of taking out men twice his size with a single blow. He is a cosmologist, a
philosopher, an observer of the human condition, and-unbeknownst to anyone-a man plagued
by sorrow, loss, and deep longing.
One day, Wladika directs his genius to the art of stand-up comedy, and by doing so brings a
new sense of hope to lackluster Albuquerque, New Mexico. As his fame grows, comedians, comedy
aficionados, and businessmen alike believe that Wladika can transform the city, so much so
that it will soon become to comedy what Chicago is to the blues, what New Orleans is to jazz,
and what Hollywood is to movies.
Finding the Buddha is told through the voices of six characters whose lives the comic profoundly
affects. Each hopes to benefit from the Midas touch of the mysterious genius who rockets toward
the top of the comedy world, unaware that he doesn't care about fame or fortune—he's on a quest.
Praise for Finding the Buddha
This book grabbed me from the first chapter til the end! It is a compelling story about a bunch
of comedians. SO much of comedy comes from the darker side of life, and this is definitely true
with this book. I couldn't put it down and still think about it months after I read it.
~ Ronda Del Boccio, author, blogger, Write on Purpose
Go read Finding the Buddha.
. . . The damned thing made me cry several times. At one point I closed the book
because I had to absorb what I had just read. (You'll know the part.) Anyone interested in
phenomenology will also appreciate this text. Underneath the comedy (or maybe because of the
comedy . . . I'm still trying to figure that out) is an inquisition into
existence and finding happiness.
Helen Denise is clearly the most intelligent character, and she has some of the best lines in the book.
All philosophy aside, it's a great novel, and I highly recommend it! I think most of my friends will
enjoy it, and the rest will enjoy deconstructing it.
~ Myrriah Gómez
Eddie Tafoya grew up scurrying like a beetle through the dust, streetgrime, alleyways, and
lavender dawns of Albuquerque's Old Town, Downtown, and Uptown. Educated in Albuquerque's
parochial schools, the University of New Mexico, and Binghamton University, he has made a
lifetime study of things comical, biblical, philosophical, verbal, and mystical. Since 1996, he
has been a fixture in the Department of English and Philosophy at New Mexico Highlands
University, where he teaches classes in creative writing, the New Testament as revolutionary
literature, and stand-up comedy as literature. He lectures around the Southwest on the history,
theory, and impact of American comedy and, when time allows, works as a stand-up comedian, a
venture that has taken him to various venues from Wisconsin to Arizona and to feature spots on
television shows like The After After Party with Steven Michael Quezada and The Duke City Comedy League.
His other books include The Legacy of the Wisecrack: Stand-up Comedy as the Great American Literary
Form and Icons of African American Comedy. He lives, writes, and teaches in Las Vegas, New Mexico.
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